11 October 2016 (Pasadena, CA) Alright, I said it, I’m in a slump. No panic here. I am a rational guy. Let’s break this down and work our way through this. What are the symptoms? My index has jumped in the last two months from 11.2 to 12.7. That is significant. In my last 10 rounds I have posted 5 scores in the low 90s. Crazy. I hate the 90s. I am no 90s player but you cannot argue with the scorecard. What have I noticed on the course? Several things. One, my hybrid has abandoned me. I don’t hit fairway woods because I can’t so I hit a 4 hybrid. I can get a good 165-175 yards with the hybrid which allows me to reach par 5s in regulation and puts me in short wedge range on longer par 4s. Second, I am putting up some real crooked numbers on the front nine. Just two weeks a go I had 2 snowmen on the front and one on the back. You can’t recover from that. Too much, too big and so disheartening. Third, I have been at 35+ putts per round. I need to be at 30 or less putts to score. I recently changed to a Odyssey heal shafted putter (ala Phil) from a center shafted Scotty. I putt on an arc so the heal shafted putter allowed me to be more fluid. Initial results were excellent. I was deadly from 10 feet in which made short wedge shots feel like lag putts. Now, I’m pulling and pushing everything. Not even close to burning edges. Fourth, I’m not managing the course well. I have to! This is always worth a few strokes of improvement. Just the other day I pushed my drive into a tree line on the right. I played a punch shot across the fairway into a lake! Inexcusable. Now I am not looking for a 10 stroke swing here. 4-5 strokes is more on target. So what do I need to do? Well for starts, I need to think the course better. When attempting to avoid doubles is when I blow up. A double is better than a triple or snowman, right? So I need to manage the course better. Play a more humble game. Punch back into the middle of fairways instead of trying to carve off another 40 yards and go across the fairway into God knows what. I also need to fix the putting issues. At my best I have a pre-shot routine, I forward press, I swing freely on an arc with a follow-through. At my worst I become mechanical, tense, no pre-shot routine, and overthink the process. Bad putting also puts a lot of pressure on my short game and I try to be too fine, too good. Finally, and probably most problematic, I need to fix the hybrid issue. This may be an issue I need to fix with a PGA professional. My swing breaks down at the top, goes way too steep. off-plane, power leak, requires over-compensation on the downswing (this is why I can’t hit fairway woods). So in the short run, better course management and a few more hours on the putting green. In the long run, a few lessons getting the 170+ game under control. I have a problem, but I also have a plan. My name is David and I am in a slump. I’ll keep you posted.